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  • Sea to Sky Law


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With over 30 years of successful experience practicing family law, I have seen many changes to the law over the decades.

A major change in BC was the 2013 Family Law Act which replaced the historical custody battle with an emphasis on a child-first analysis. Now both parents can have guardianship, parenting time and parenting responsibilities - not rights. It is the "best interests" of the child which decides the issue. "Parenting Responsibilities" are the decision-making authorities for the many different types of issues involved in parenting a child eg choice of education, medical care, travel, etc. Each parent can have all or only some of these "responsibilities".

The child-first analysis also changes historical presumptions that fathers are not able to have primary care. Instead, the analysis starts with the presumption that both parents, including same-sex couples, are equally capable until there is evidence (not just opinion) that the child would not benefit from having parenting time with both parents. The amount of parenting time each parent has depends on what is best for the child, and often by practical factors like work schedules, etc, assuming there is no need for any restriction on the parenting time eg supervision, etc.

When factors change eg a child is older with different needs, or a parent changes work schedule or moves residence, then the parenting schedule might change. Plan for Change!

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